Saturday, May 5, 2012

May Days

Been thinking of you a bunch as of late. Little things at first, a song while I’m flipping through my XM stations that takes me back to being seven years old, sitting next to you in the car, seatbelt scratching my cheek as I sit on the hard rubber seat, trying to avoid the scary and jagged tear and exposed yellowing stuffing, my heart swelling when your voice would lift, grow louder, mouth wide and belting out the words, the weight of your world easing just enough to let your body sway and voice fill the inside of our VW, “Even though we aint got money, I’m so in love with ya honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright” my eyes closing and head resting against the seat back as I took in your sheer elation in being lost in a voice, music and lyrics that spoke to you. Heard that Kenny Loggins song yesterday on my way into work…

“People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one” as the song began I waited for that feeling, the one I’ve always gotten when it came on. That strange combination of reunion and anxiety, joy and sadness but yesterday the feeling that landed in the pit of my stomach was that of seeing a long lost friend. No sadness, no fear, no worry. The memory of you freely belting your heart out and of me snuggling into it. Sounds like a silly thing I know but it touched me in a way that actually did “Bring a tear of joy to my eye” and assured me that in fact everything “Is gonna be alright”. I’m not a believer in “visits” or signs from loved ones passed but, well I felt your presence in some odd way and this time there was an unconcerned comfort in thinking about and visiting with you, that I don’t think I’ve ever felt before.

I wondered if you would be speaking to me yet. You know, after the rather unflattering series of posts I wrote about our relationship a couple of years ago. Suspecting that you would be, although the words I freed upon my screen would have put an even further distance between us. Your hurt, in the face of my exposition of your frailty, rage, sometime lunacy, leaving a gap of distrust that I think we would still be trying to hurdle. As the song ended and the light turned green, I pressed my foot to the gas, the wind coming through my open window flipping my hair across my lips I found myself smiling and kind of okay with that. Almost as if I needed to clear out all that old garbage, dump it all out on the lawn where everyone could see it, to make room to actually see all the sweet, loving, cherished moments we had together. Mom, I hope you too are okay with that.

My drive to work became a Ferris wheel ride. My hair, memories and heart flowing, the radio still playing I heard nothing but, “Sam! Are you going to stay in that water all day?!” and, “How’s my little mouse?” your voice and laughter filling the interior of my car. The hours I spent cross legged in front of you as you applied my makeup, waiting in the car as you cashed a check at the corner liquor store, a check we both knew was going to bounce, so you could take me out to a Prime Rib dinner. The way you held Jeremy, his tiny body safely tucked and cradled in your arms as you read, the way you would laugh when he would rub the soft flubbery skin under your chin. The unmistakable gaze of a woman truly in love that you had whenever he was near you. I may have envied that look at one time but yesterday, yesterday it made me proud that I was able to give you something back. Through the heart of that tiny young man and the chain of love that made everything alright. And just so you know, he still has your high school photo, the one we had blown up for the funeral, he asked for that and it is still hanging above his bed here at home and although he is rarely in that room anymore, when he does come home to visit and drops his bags off in the room where he grew up, he lets his gaze fall upon you. He was young when you left us but I promise you, he has never forgotten how much you loved him. Never.  

May is always hard for me Mom. Your birthday, Mother’s Day, the last time I saw you, the day I got the call….and arrived too late to say goodbye. The anniversary of those dates hanging in the middle of the month, waiting for me. Maybe it was you that made that song come on the radio, sending me the gift of Kenny’s voice and the words that soothed you all those years ago….

“People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one, and we've just begun,
Think I'm gonna have a son.

He will be like she and me, as free as a dove, conceived in love,
Sun is gonna shine above

And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.

And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes,
And tell me everything is gonna be alright”

I miss you
We all do
Love always
Your Mouse


middle child said...

It is not silly at all, the way the music affected you. I get it. I understand. My mom died when I was 17. Her birthday is May 27th. Good times and bad. I think after awhile it is the good times that we remember. Peace.

Samantha Dugan said...

Can't get the damn song out of my head now though! My mom's birthday was/is May 17th and seems as if my thoughts drift to her this time of year. 12 years, seems like a lifetime ago, and I guess in some way, it was. Thanks for understanding...always makes it a little easier when I post these self reflective posts.

The Passionate Palate said...

Okay...I'm sobbing. We never forget losing a parent, no matter how long ago.

My mom is always on my mind this time of year too. And that photo of the old and young woman together rips my heart out! It is so poignantly beautiful. I lost my mom to Lewy Body dementia and had many moments of losing patience with her toward the end. I realize now how much more patient she was with me when I was an energetic toddler, stubborn 7 year old, rebellious teen and very independent young woman. She was always there, full of love, unconditionally. Yeah, I got lucky too, to have such a wonderful mom. Thanks for the post, as always, Sam. I hope those upcoming emotional days will be filled with memories of sweet smiles, laughs and love.

Samantha Dugan said...

Passionate Palate,
Very touching and thank you for sharing that. I often wonder who has it worse, those that lose their parents young and abruptly, or those who have to watch their parents grow ill, frail or as you experienced, suffering with dementia. Think I figured it out, both ways are tragic. Never easy....

Do Bianchi said...

thinking of you and sending lots of love.

Samantha Dugan said...

Thanks Jeremy, I'll take it!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

What a lovely tribute to your mom. Though it seems to me that of all the things you have written about her on your blog, the worst was that she loved Kenny Loggins...

I associate music with my mom as well. I can't hear, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine/You make me happy when skies are gray/You'll never know, Dear, how much I love you/Please don't take my sunshine away" without singing along and sweetly feeling a tear in my eye. She always sang that beautiful old song to me when I was a kid.

I don't doubt for a second that it was your mother who sent you Kenny Loggins during this difficult month of May. What we choose to believe is simply that--a choice. There are an infinite number of things we don't and cannot know. One thing I am very sure of, however--Jeremy will feel YOUR presence and YOUR love, find messages from you in music and daily occurrences, long after you've passed. You can believe that.

And you can also believe that I love you very much.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Loggins, Doobie Brothers and Stevie Wonder will forever be the soundtrack of my youth. She loved them and played them at times when music seemed the only thing that could soothe her...or us I should say.

You and I have talked about this before and no matter what you say or believe I simply am not a believer in spirit visits. Just isn't me and you can see that as a choice, I prefer to see it as reality. One of the few things you and I will never see eye to eye on but I adore your comment and the love you sent to me that came with it.

I do hope that after I'm gone there will be music, a piece of art, a meal or scent that will remind Jeremy of me and our time together....sounds like a humbling honor as a matter of fact. One thing I know and hold very close to my heart is if this hurt ever gets to be too much for me, if the missing or sadness get me too low all I have to do is write, call or think of you, the very thought of you....

I love you!

webb said...

Sam, so many of "us girls" have complicated relationships with our mothers - even after they are gone. It's sometimes hard to separate the good times from the not so good times. I think that is normal - at least for some of us.

Thinking of you this difficult month.

Samantha Dugan said...

You are correct of course and the mother daughter relationship is one often filled with emotion and memories that run the gambit. I think for the first time, in as long as I can remember, I feel really good about my relationship with my mother. It was what it was and she did the absolute best she could given the tools and training she was given. Maybe it took 12 years for me to sort through all the muck and writing the series of pieces I did helped me so much more than I can say. I really feel like I'm okay, not with losing her but with what I've done with my life, how I raised my son, who I am as a woman and hearing that song the other day, the way it made feel, well it felt really wonderful. I thank you for your support sweet webb...adore you so!

Michele | Cooking At Home said...

A beautiful tribute to your mom.

Samantha Dugan said...

Thank you Michele.

Winey the Elder said...

A beautiful, touching post Samantha. Do you have any smells that call to mind your mother?

And thanks a lot for impregnating my inner ear with Messr Loggins' Kumbaya ditty; it'll take hours before I can flush that folly from the folds of my frontal lobe.


Samantha Dugan said...

Ah, what a fantastic question. There are so many but when I read your words these things flashed before me:
Chocolate chip cookies
Slow cooking rib roast
Baked potatoes
Black Forest Ham
Blue cheese dressing
Lancome makeup counter and
Weird no? But that was fun so thanks for asking. Sorry about the Kenny Loggins but now that you brought it up it will be back in my head once again. Hugs to you.

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